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First racing crash.(16 posts)

First racing crash.bill
Sep 21, 2003 5:01 PM
In a way, I'm glad I got it over with. I'd seen lots of crashes, of course, in the Cat 5 and Cat 4 fields where I've been racing, but I had avoided them myself. Now, I know that they are survivable, even by an old fart.
My race number today ended in 13. I'd actually always sort of considered 13 a lucky number for me.
In the fifth lap of a non-technical circuit race, two guys in front of me just went down. Just went down. On a straight. Nothing in particular going on. I have to believe that a moment's inattention allowed wheels to touch, but I suppose I'll never know -- not that it matters. One of the guys who went down first said he had no clue what happened. As far as he could tell, someone just wiped out and took his wheels out from under him.
There was not a thing I could do. I suppose that if I had a little more going for me, I could have bunny-hopped the two riders and bikes as they slid forward in a clump just ahead of me, but I'm not that good. Going to either side would have taken more riders down with me (although that may have been a wash, since a bunch behind me went down).
I just ran straight into them. I did try to brake, and I may have slowed some, but I definitely plowed into them.
That old Irish blessing, about praying for the road to rise up to greet me or meet me or whatever it is, will never have the same meaning. I remember rising up as the rear of my bike was flipping forward, and feeling like I was about fifteen feet in the air. I then watched in slow motion horror as the road simply got closer and closer and closer.
I could not possibly have done a full face plant, although that's what it felt like, and I have the bruise on my forehead where the helmet crushed into me. So, maybe I did, with the brunt taken by the helmet.
Bottom line -- scattered bruises, a badly torn up elbow, a knee that looks worse than it is, a cut on my nose where my glasses dug into my face, and a trashed custom-made Pegoretti.
It's the Pegoretti that really stings.
Don't forget to buy a new helmet! Sorry about the crash.Kerry Irons
Sep 21, 2003 5:38 PM
Some would say that a racing license is a license to kiss the pavement. It's when, not if.
Yup, crashing is inevitable.....CARBON110
Sep 22, 2003 6:27 AM
Thats the first thing I was told when I started to race. Its also the first thing I told my DOC after my surgery. ""so now that I have 5 pins and a rod in my leg, whats going to happen when I crash in a bike race?"" His response ""I have no idea, but I would suggest keeping the pins and rod in there since they are like having rebarb in your leg and stregthn the bone"" wheeeeew LOL! There is only one place I fear crashing, its the decent of the 3rd day of the Green Mtn Stage Race over the Middlebury Gap.
The decent is about 9 miles and starts off steep steep steep. If you climb well you just have to make it around the first 4 sharp corners with the first 10-15 people, which can be tough since your going 55-60mph. There isnt alot of room on the road to change lines. On top of this you get passed like crazy by heavy riders who have super high HR from the brutal climb up Middlebury Gap and are trying to catch the pack. The last few corners are super sharp and allow no error in judgement (always a yard sale there every year) and the pavement isnt exactly ideal anywhere in Vermont

Glad your ok, it smarts alot more then your Mtn bike eh
That's why I use a bargain-basement frame.McAndrus
Sep 22, 2003 9:11 AM
I race on a Giant TCR that I picked up for a good price on eBay. I'd die (or my wife would kill me, whichever comes first) if I wrecked a C40 or Pinarello or other high-zoot frame.

My sympathies.
re: cheap frameThe Human G-Nome
Sep 22, 2003 12:25 PM
I saw someone in the Pro/1/2s riding a Scattante at the Presidio Crit on Sunday. i'm thinking about picking up something from Fetish Cycles just for crits. Eric Wohlberg, btw, is such a freakin' animal. he lapped the entire field only halfway through the race and then went ahead and pulled the number 2 and 3 riders the rest of the way to the finish even though he could have just sat in and drafted. even pulling, he looked like he was only puting in very minimal effort. he's not a multi-year canadian TT champion for nothing i guess.
re: cheap frameNo_sprint
Sep 24, 2003 9:14 AM
Lots of Fujis, Tsunamis and Dales here from top to bottom.
re: First racing crash.MShaw
Sep 22, 2003 1:51 PM
You know its a bad crash when you don't get up and ask "how's my bike." I had that experience two Saturdays ago. Fell off chatting at the end of a group ride.

I fell so fast I didn't even have time to get my hands off the bars! Went down sideways, left forearm, hip, shoulder, head. My neck still hurts from being my head being slammed sideways into the pavement.

As I lay there looking at the world sideways, feeling dizzy, I didn't even give the bike a second thought. Man, this one was a pretty bad one... Unfortunately, I had an hour + ride back to my house. I suspect I had a slight concussion, as well as a hyper-extended neck on the right side.

Fortunately, after replacing some torn bar tape, the bike's fine.

Sorry to hear about the Pegoretti! but that's why I always have at least two bikes, multiple sets of wheels, two helmets, etc.

is that Bill from Squadra Coppi?weiwentg
Sep 22, 2003 2:19 PM
I thought you were on a Trek, or was that someone else? regardless, that really sucks about the Pegoretti! at least you're OK ... insurance going to cover the bike?
Yes, and, no, unless I get the number of the guy who hit me.bill
Sep 22, 2003 2:51 PM
How are you doing? Broken collarbone, right?
When you saw me in PA, I was riding a Fondriest, which I'm not anxious to ride in a crit (although it would be a great crit bike). I always thought that the worst that was likely to happen to the Pegoretti (which is steel) would be repairable. Maybe I was kidding myself all along, but there is no kidding about what happened this time. It is well trashed. I think I'll probably keep it, anyway, because it looks kind of cool, but it's trashed.
oh no!weiwentg
Sep 22, 2003 4:33 PM
yeah, broken collarbone. the bone is getting a lot better. I feel like there's a nerve getting pinched in my front deltoid, though. I will call the orthopaedic surgery department tomorrow - I see my orthopod next week, anyway.
I am getting a Dream Plus - 46.5cm, LX24 - and will be using the TCR for crits. I'll just ride it until I break it, which should be soon. if I can get a dollar for every time someone makes a reference to Tyler Hamilton in my presence, though, I'll be able to pay for any number of replacement frames I want.
was that at the Turkey Day races?cbass
Sep 23, 2003 10:33 AM
there bad crashes in both the 4 and 3/4 races
that would be correct. In the 4 race. No clue what caused thebill
Sep 23, 2003 12:18 PM
guys in front of me to go down, although it was sort of a weirdly squirelly race from the getgo. I think this was it -- late season race, lots of middling strong riders looking for some results, with the real monsters either catted up or done for the season. No one head and shoulders above everyone else, no one working to string out the field, with all these pretty strong riders conserving their energy. So, it was fast, with anyone that was trying to get away shut down in a hurry, and everybody pretty much able to keep up and move together. So, more like a 3 race, but we're still a bunch of Cat 4's. Equals crash.
interesting observationcbass
Sep 23, 2003 12:46 PM
I think that in the 4 race a guy had one hand on his bars, hit a bump that turned his front wheel & he went down quickly. i saw a bike go flying in the air...yikes. i was just behind and to the right of the crash. i was squeezed to the curb and somehow jumped off my bike & landed on my feet in the grass. i chased back on, but it was hard.

the race was both squirrelly and hard. average speed was just under 26mph & there was a lot of slowing in the corners so the jumps were fast and plentiful.

for comparison the 3/4 race was a lot more steady in terms of speed (a bit less slowing in the corners, yet the avg speed was just under 25mph. someone else might disagree, but i think the 3/4 race was easier & the jumps weren't quite as fast. maybe it's because a break got off the front with a decent gap...strange that the 3/4 race was both slower and more sketchy 8-)

the other strange thing about the 3/4 race was that there were 3 pretty bad crashes & plenty of sketchy riding & it wasn't just by the 4's.

I don't get it...this was a wide open, safe course with fantastic weather, yet people were going down on straight, slightly uphill stretches of the course.
you are kidding me. So, someone took a hand off the bars?bill
Sep 23, 2003 1:03 PM
How did you learn this?
That bike you saw flying was undoubtedly mine. I'm not positive about all the details of course, but I remember some serious hang time, with me going a bit further than my bike until, as I seem to remember, my bike, bouncing along after me, more or less caught up. I know that I ended up on the other side of all other involved parties.
That really p*sses me off. It was one thing when I thought that it was unavoidable, just one of those things, and another when I think that someone lost control avoidably. Taking your hand away in the middle of that pack was a tough decision, because it was fast. According to my (dowloadable) computer, at the time the little line plummetted, we were going about 28.
Glad you avoided the mayhem. Mayhem, by the way, at common law was disabling by injury the fighting arm or hand of a knight.
that was what several people said after the racecbass
Sep 24, 2003 7:58 AM
I just saw him go over the bars very quickly, which makes sense if his front wheel turned unexpectedly. i know that another guy brok his carbon frame in the crash...bummer.

I saw you going airborne...scary. i'm glad you weren't seriously hurt.

you've got to take a drink every once in a while (even in a crit) however doing it in the middle of the pack going 28mph on one of the few stretches that has any bumps is not smart.

I tried to pick a better spot to drink. the best place was just after the last turn just as we started down the hill. i would find some open space to take a drink, knowing that i could move back into the group on the descent.
re: First racing crash.aaroncvc
Sep 25, 2003 6:26 PM
sorry that happened, man. i went down this winter during training, and broke my wrist... bike was fine. my wrist has pins and plates in it.

if i can make a suggestion: buy some tegaderm for your road rash. also buy some pantyhose while you are there. that's right, pantyhose. there was an article in velonews about how to make a homemade road rash kit. basically slap the tegaderm over the abrasion, cut some pantyhose about the same size, and slide it over the tegaderm.

in regards to the cause of the crash... many of the crahses that i have witnessed this year have been as a result of people "falling asleep" during the straightaways. after the corner, there's the surge, after everyone catches back up, bunches up, and jockeys for position. it should be safer than the corner, right? we're going straight... but that's really where the positioning and wild movements are...

during the 3/4 race at turkey day, there was some very aggressive riding going on. fortunately not much passing in the corners... one rule that i think most people in the 4's have still to learn is that you don't pass in a corner... that you have to rejoin the pack before the entrance to the turn or you might screw some people up.

that being said, i spent the entire season cornering like a sissy, because of a crash earlier in the year. it wasn't until the last few weeks that i was comfortable.